If you’re a hot sleeper then you know how difficult it can be to find a cooling pillow. Most brands that claim to be “cooling” end up doing nothing. Our team of sleep experts became aware of the problem and tested out all of the leading brands to find out which products actually work. Our Editor’s Choice for best cooling pillow is the Eight Sleep Carbon Air Pillow.
Our Top Picks for the Best Cooling Pillow
- Eight Sleep Carbon Air Pillow – editor’s choice
- Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow – best cooling memory foam pillow
- Saatva Latex Pillow – best cooling latex pillow
- Nolah Squishy Pillow – best cooling adjustable pillow
- Purple Cloud – best cooling down-like alternative pillow
#1. Eight Sleep Carbon Air Pillow
Check Current Price | Editor’s Choice
- Very cooling
- Good for allergy sufferers
- Too high a loft for stomach sleepers
- Slight off-gassing
Our experience with Eight Sleep Carbon Air pillow
Carbon has long been known to have cooling properties. Used in mattresses and pillows, it helps keep both heat and moisture away, leaving the bedding fresher for longer while allowing sleepers to sleep comfortably.
The Eight Sleep Carbon Air pillow features cooling technology that combines carbon-infused foam and a proprietary phase change material that helps with temperature regulation. The foam also has a ventilation system in the form of laser cut holes that allow air to move freely throughout the pillow, mimicking an open-cell design found mostly on memory foam products. This also adds a plushier feel to the pillow.
Not many brands use dark colored foam but the Eight Sleep Carbon Air pillow uses a combination of cool blue and black foam. Dark colors also tend to keep cooler than light colors, plus we think it looks pretty cool.
The pillow itself comes encased in a pillow cover that’s made with Tencel fabric. Tencel material is an environmentally-friendly material that’s made from the pulp of eucalyptus trees. It has an absorption rate that’s 50% higher than regular cotton and is naturally breathable. Tencel is also less susceptible to bacterial growth than can cause odor and other respiratory issues. This makes the Eight Sleep Carbon Air pillow a good choice for those who suffer from year-round allergies.
The cover is also machine washable, making it easier to keep your pillow stay fresh for longer. Bear in mind that only the cover is machine washable but the foam itself is not. Should any stains or spills reach the foam, spot clean immediately with a damp sponge and some gentle laundry detergent.
We found the loft of 6″ to be most suitable for back sleepers and side sleepers. Stomach sleepers, however, may find the pillow to be a bit too high which could mess with their spinal alignment. Those who sleep strictly on their stomachs should opt for a pillow with a lower loft.
Eight Sleep warns though that external temperature may affect the firmness of the pillow. If it’s too cold, then the foam material may feel a little firmer. Not to worry, because body heat can soften it in no time.
We also experienced a small amount of off-gassing upon unboxing the pillow but this dissipated within 48 hours. It would help massively if you air out the pillow for a day or two prior to first use.
Eight Sleep does not offer a sleep trial for their Carbon Air pillow but they do offer a risk-free 30 day return policy should you find that it is not a perfect fit. It also comes backed by a 5 year warranty, which is pretty substantial when it comes to bedding products. Eight Sleep also offers free shipping within the USA.
#2. Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow
Check Current Price | Best Cooling Memory Foam Pillow
- Very cooling
- Sunk-in feel
- Slight off-gassing
Our experience with the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Memory Foam pillow
It’s no longer a secret that memory foam is notorious for trapping heat – whether from the external environment or from body temperature. But mattress brands nowadays have come up with ways and means – usually through proprietary tech – to make memory foam have cooling features.
The coolest memory foam pillow we have tried so far is the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam pillow. With a dual cooling system that combines a pin core ventilation for increased air circulation and a triple whammy of a copper and graphite-infused memory foam plus a cooling gel layer, you can be sure to sleep cool throughout the night.
Copper and graphite are excellent heat conductors and when used in things such as pillows and mattresses, help draw heat away from both the body and the bed. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial, which means it helps destroy and prevent the growth of mold, mildew, microbes and other allergens. This makes it an excellent choice for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.
We have rarely seen the combination of copper and graphite – usually it’s one or the other – but it only makes sense for Brooklyn Bedding to combine them in their memory foam pillow to reap the full benefits of both.
We found the Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Memory Foam pillow to have a true memory foam feel. It conforms and cradles the head and neck, alleviating any pressure from the pressure points. If you are someone who sleeps high up on the pillow and your shoulders are touching the edge of the pillow, the memory foam’s contouring feel may help keep pressure off the shoulders.
The surface of the pillow features gel-infused memory foam for an added cooling effect. It also helps pull heat away from the body.
The Brooklyn Bedding Cooling pillow comes encased in a zippable, washable cover that’s made from 100% cotton. The foam insert is not washable and should only be dry cleaned.
Brooklyn Bedding offers two loft options for their Cooling pillow: a Low loft and a High loft. They recommend side sleepers to opt for a higher loft pillow as this could help them keep their spine in proper alignment; stomach sleepers to opt for a lower loft pillow as well as a softer pillow as sleeping on your stomach can cause the hips to dip farther into the mattress thus creating a spinal misalignment should you sleep on a higher loft pillow.
Back sleepers, according to Brooklyn Bedding, have the option to choose between the two, depending on their preferences and medical conditions. As an example, back sleepers who suffer from sleep apnea would benefit more by sleeping on a higher loft pillow as this raises their nasal passageways.
True memory foam pillows, like memory foam mattresses, can have that sunk-in feel that some people may not like so if you prefer a more responsive memory foam cooling pillow you might want to look at the Casper foam pillow.
As with most memory foam products, we did experience a tiny amount of off-gassing with the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling pillow but this dissipated within 24-48 hours.
As with most mattress brands, Brooklyn Bedding does not offer a sleep trial for their pillows. The Luxury Cooling pillow does come with a risk-free 30 day return policy. It is also backed by a 3 year warranty. Brooklyn Bedding pillows are made in the USA with some imported components.
#3. Saatva Latex Pillow
Check Current Price | Best Cooling Latex Pillow
- Very cooling
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Responsive and pressure-relieving
- Good for those who suffer from neck pain
- Can be a little pricey
- Can be a bit too lofty for some stomach sleepers
Our experience with the Saatva Latex pillow
Chances are, if you’ve slept at a 5-star hotel, you may have laid your head on a latex pillow. Latex pillows are preferred in world class hotels for their pressure-relieving responsiveness, cooling properties as well as their naturally hypoallergenic nature.
The Saatva Latex pillow is made from 100% natural latex that’s been ecologically sourced. Natural latex is buoyant, offering pressure relief like that of memory foam but without the sunk-in feel. Saatva’s Latex pillow contains no synthetic components nor chemical glue that may be detrimental to both your health and the environment.
The pillow cover of the Saatva Latex pillow is made from 100% organic cotton sateen that’s smooth and silky to the touch. It is also naturally breathable and is known to be moisture-wicking, helping you sleep cool and dry throughout the night. This is an excellent choice for those who suffer from night sweats and those who are excessively hot sleepers. The cover is a machine washable cover – simply unzip and toss in the wash. Be careful not to wash the inner layers of the Latex foam pillow as these are strictly spot clean only.
The Saatva Latex pillow is slightly different from many cooling pillows in that it features a pillow within a pillow. The outer layer of the pillow is made up of a plush, down-like microdenier fiber that gives the pillow a luxurious down pillow-like feel. The microdenier fiber used is also hypoallergenic and breathable which makes the entire pillow cool.
The inner core is made up of shredded natural latex foam. As we’ve mentioned previously, natural latex is more responsive than synthetic foam, allowing sleepers to change their sleep position easily. Shredded foam, as opposed to solid foam pillows, means the Saatva Latex pillow is more malleable and can somewhat be fluffed to your desired height. A more responsive pillow also means that it is a good fit for those who suffer from chronic neck pain.
Latex is also naturally hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for allergy sufferers. The Saatva Latex pillow is dust mite and mildew resistant, which helps keep its lifespan longer.
Because of its plushiness and malleability, the Saatva Latex pillow is suitable for all sleeping positions, but especially back and side sleepers. Those who sleep strictly on their stomachs might find it to be a tad bit too high and should opt for an adjustable pillow like the Layla Kapok pillow.
Those who lead a more sustainable lifestyle might also do well with choosing a cooling pillow like the Saatva Latex pillow as Saatva pride themselves on producing eco-conscious and more sustainable beds and bedding.
Paired with a cooling mattress like the Avocado Green mattress, the Saatva Latex pillow certainly had us feeling as though we were sleeping on a 5-star bed.
Saatva is one of the few mattress brands that offer a slightly longer return policy for their pillows. The Latex pillow comes with a risk-free return of 45 days. It comes backed by a 1 year limited warranty. All of Saatva’s products, including their pillows are made entirely in the USA. The pillow also comes with free shipping within the continental United States.
Buy: Saatva Latex Pillow
#4. Nolah Squishy Pillow
Check Current Price | Best Cooling Adjustable Pillow
- Adjustable loft
- Very cooling
- Comes in only one size
- Slight off-gassing
Our experience with the Nolah Squishy pillow
Not a lot of mattress brands offer adjustable pillows. They can be cumbersome to produce and ship but the benefits of an adjustable pillow are many. First, it can suit any sleeping position under the sun simply by adjusting the loft. It can be sustainable and re-usable, thus helping us care for the world we live in by reducing waste.
Cute name aside, the Nolah Squishy pillow is included in our list because it features pressure-relieving gel-infused memory foam along with a natural, breathable bamboo cover that helps draw heat away from the body.
Containing laser cube-cut shredded memory foam, the Nolah Squishy pillow also features a responsive foam core that helps do away with that stuck in the mud feel of regular memory foam.
The shredded memory foam used in the Nolah Squishy pillow is OKEO-TEX certified, which means it is free from any harmful toxins or substances that could be detrimental to a person’s health.
Those who suffer from head and neck issues would do well with a soft pillow that’s still responsive like the Nolah Squishy pillow as it helps them keep the pressure off their rough spots.
While memory foam is known to trap heat, the memory foam core cubes used in the Nolah Squishy pillow are infused with cooling gel. That, along with the fact that they are cut into cubes and don’t come in one solid block, means continuous air circulation all throughout. This also helps keep the pillow stay fresh for longer.
The Squishy pillow’s double chamber design allows you to open the inner pocket and take away or add the memory foam cubes as deem fit for your needs and preferences. This makes the Nolah Squishy pillow suitable for any sleeper type, even the strictest stomach sleeper. We found the neck and head support of the Squishy pillow to be excellent for stomach sleepers even when we had taken out enough of the fill to mimic thinner pillows.
The pillow cover of the Squishy pillow is made from a blend of breathable bamboo fabric. Bamboo is naturally cooling and moisture-wicking, helping those who sleep hot stay cool and dry throughout the night.
The bamboo fabric pillow cover is also machine washable but Nolah recommends drying it out in the sun rather than in a dryer. The foam core where the filling is located cannot be washed and should only be spot cleaned if needed.
As memory foam pillows go, the Nolah Squishy pillow offers superb pressure relief where one needs it the most. This is because it molds to a person’s body, cradling any pockets of pain one might have. But unlike traditional memory foam, the Squishy pillow also features a responsive foam outer layer that negates the dreaded sunk-in feel. Combination sleepers who like to switch positions often throughout the night would love the Squishy pillow’s almost latex-like response rate.
Because it is adjustable, the Nolah Squishy pillow is suitable for any sleeper type, from back and side sleepers to strict side sleepers.
Because it is made from memory foam though, we did experience a small amount of off-gassing upon unboxing but this dissipated within 48 hours. We recommend airing out any new memory foam bedding prior to first use.
The Nolah Squishy pillow comes in only 1 size and it also comes as a 2-pack.
Nolah offers the standard 30 day, risk-free return policy for their bedding, which includes the Squishy pillow. It does not come backed by a warranty unfortunately.
Buy: Nolah Squishy Pillow
#5. Purple Cloud
Check Current Price | Best Cooling Down Alternative Pillow
- Suitable for all sleeper types
- Very cooling
- Down-like feel
- Can be too lofty for some
Our experience with the Purple Cloud pillow
While down pillows spell the ultimate in luxury bedding, they can be:
- Hard to clean
- Not suitable for those who lead a completely cruelty-free lifestyle
And these are just some of the cons of down pillows. The solution: down alternative pillows. A down alternative pillow is made to mimic down pillows by feel and plushness without using any real down.
The Purple Cloud pillow feels and looks just like a real down pillow, but without that slightly ducky, barnyard scent (and without plucking any geese or ducks). Filled with crimped gel fibers that are coated with silicone, we found the Cloud pillow able to sustain its loft with no clumping whatsoever, no matter how often we used it.
Encased in a breathable 100% cotton cover that helps wick body heat away, the Purple Cloud pillow is one of the few cooling pillows that you can throw entirely into the wash, not just the cover. Not to worry – once fully dry it fluffs back up to its full size. This is a good option for those who have children that are prone to bedroom spills and accidents.
Guaranteed and certified safe for people with allergies, the Purple Cloud pillow is made with recyclable, food-grade and food contact-grade materials. The Purple Cloud has also been awarded the CleanAir GOLD certification by Intertek, a third party quality assurance company, ensuring its quality, safety and purity.
The ultra-fine gel fibers within the Purple Cloud pillow won’t clump, trap heat or disintegrate over time, ensuring that your pillow stays as lofty as the first day you receive it.
Just like down, which can be molded, the Purple Cloud’s loft and height can be adjusted your sleeping position with just a few fluffs and presses.
Because of its plush malleability, the Purple Cloud pillow is suitable for all sleeper types, from back sleepers, stomach sleepers to side sleepers and combination sleepers.
Those who suffer from neck and chronic pain would find that the Purple Cloud pillow can also be used as a body pillow.
The cooling gel fibers in the Purple Cloud helps draw away heat and helps lower body temperature for those who tend to sleep hot. Gel pillows, combined with cooling bedding, are a surefire way to ensure comfortability and a good night’s sleep for extremely hot sleepers.
We did not experience any instances of off-gassing upon unboxing the Purple Cloud pillow which means it can be used straight out of the box.
The Purple Cloud pillow comes with a substantial 100 night sleep trial and comes backed by a 1 year warranty. Purple also offers free shipping for their bedding, including their pillows and mattress topper.
Buy: Purple Cloud
Quick view and comparison
|Brand||Eight Sleep Air Carbon Pillow||Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Memory Foam Pillow||Saatva Latex Pillow||Nolah Squishy Pillow||Purple Cloud Pillow|
|Sleeping Position||All sleeper types||All sleeper types||All sleeper types||All sleeper types||All sleeper types|
|Trial||30 day return||3 day return||45 day return||30 day return||100 nights|
|Link to buy||Buy Eight Sleep Air Carbon Pillow||Buy Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Memory Foam Pillow||Buy Saatva Latex Pillow||Buy Nolah Squishy Pillow||Buy Purple Cloud|
How to choose a good cooling pillow
Choosing a good cooling pillow means taking a closer look into the materials used as well as any cooling technology a brand may have used.
- Check the outer cover – Beloved by many, 100% pure cotton tends to be breathable and moisture wicking but wood-derived fabric such as Tencel and bamboo can be 50x more absorbent than cotton.
- What’s in it – From gel-infused memory foam to graphite, copper and polymer gel, there’s so many cooling pillows that can contain a myriad of different cooling materials that can help you sleep cool. One thing to keep in mind though is that shredded foam tend to allow more air flow than a solid block of foam.
- Preferences – Like with any bedding, or even mattresses, your own needs and preferences are the first thing to be considered before anything else. Do you suffer from chronic pain? Choose something that molds to your body like memory foam. Do you hate that stuck in the mud feel? Choose something responsive like latex. Do you suffer from allergies? Make sure you choose a hypoallergenic pillow.
- Sleep trial – While not many brands offer a sleep trial, the majority do offer a return risk-free policy of up the 30 days. This is enough time to find out whether the cooling pillow actually works for you.
Here’s a little rundown of well-known cooling materials to look out for when shopping for cooling pillows.
- Gel-infused foam – Gel-infused foam act like sponges of body heat. Made by infusing regular foam or memory foam with a cooling gel layer, this not only helps wick heat away but also helps provide a slightly more responsive feel to the foam.
- Latex foam – Naturally cooling, latex does not absorb heat like polyfoam or any other manmade foam can.
- Graphite/Copper/Silver – Naturally occurring elements found deep within the earth are known to be excellent conductors of heat. When used in bedding and mattresses, these help draw heat away from the body and the mattress/pillow.
- Hyperelastic polymer gel – Only a few mattress brands have cracked the code of the hyperelastic polymer gel. Essentially working like cooling gel layers but dialled up to a 100.
- Tencel/Bamboo – As mentioned above, wood-derived fabric tend to be more breathable and absorbent than regular cotton.
- Celliant – Fairly new when it comes to bedding and mattresses, Celliant works by converting body heat into energy thereby keeping you cool while helping you sleep and feel better.
Pillow prices tend to reflect the materials used, its sources and the brand name. Just because an item is expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. There’s bound to be a cooling pillow that suits both your needs and your budget.
Those who lead active lifestyles would do well with choosing cooling pillows that feature Celliant. Those who suffer from night sweats should opt for a wood-derived fabric cover for their cooling pillows.
Again, this coils down to what we have discussed above, that preferences come into play when choosing the best cooling pillows and everyone is different. What works for one may not necessarily work the best for you. Pillows are personal. Make it a point to research before you buy.
Who should buy a cooling pillow
Anyone who sleeps hot, or those who suffer from chronic night sweats or even just those who live in hotter climates should choose a cooling pillow.
Sleeping hot is the number cause of sleeplessness around the world. If there’s anything we can do to help alleviate any issue we face naturally, then by all means, go for it.
How to stay cool at night
A few tips on how to stay cool at night:
- Make sure your bedroom or sleeping environment stays at a level 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit as this is scientifically proven to be the ideal sleeping temperature.
- Keep any electronics away from the bed. Not only can this cause undue heat and mess up your sleep cycle, they could also be potentially be a fire hazard.
- Dim lights give off the illusion of a cooler sleeping environment.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day. Keep a glass or bottle of water on your night stand just in case you get thirsty. A well hydrated body means lower body temperature.
- Stay away from thick blankets and knitted covers, especially if you live in a hotter climate. Opt for thinner fabrics such as bamboo, tencel or linen.
There definitely are cooling pillows that do work. This can be due to a combination of factors such as pillow materials used and any proprietary cooling technology.
Cooling pillows can definitely help you sleep better. Cooling pillows draw heat away from the body and many cooling pillows work because they feature proprietary cooling technology that helps with temperature regulation.
Cooling pillows that feature moisture-wicking fabric like Tencel work the best for reducing night sweats.
The human body gives off body heat and it is only natural that whatever we come in contact with becomes hot as well. Regular memory foam pillows, in particular, are notorious for absorbing body heat and must be avoided if you are a very hot sleeper.
A cold pillow can also be uncomfortable to lay on, especially if you live in colder climates. It is best to use a pillow that is temperature regulating.
The coolest pillow material would have to be natural latex.
Cooling pillows are essential for those who tend to sleep hot. Even if you are not an extremely hot sleeper, it’s good to keep one or two in your bedding arsenal.
Choosing the best cooling pillow means you need to determine what it is you need and what you prefer. Just like mattresses, not all cooling pillows would be suitable for you. It all depends on your sleeping position, personal preferences and whatever health issues you might have.
One thing’s for certain, a cool sleeping environment is conducive to a healthy and restful night of sleep.
Next step: Now that you’ve read our buying guide for best cooling pillows, it’s time to revisit our #1 pick. The Eight Sleep Carbon Air Pillow is by far the most high-tech, premium cooling pillow available. It’s the solution for people who overheat throughout the night.
How We Rate Pillows
There are many different types of pillows. In general, we rate pillows by 6 standards:
- Firmness and Support
- Loft & Adjustability
- Structural integrity & Durability
View our full rating process for pillows.
Psst… the sleep review industry is full of liars, sharks, and thieves. It’s a modern-day version of getting ripped off at your local mattress store. So, why should you trust us?